HoopsHype Billy Hunter rumors
Roughly two dozen players and agents are intent on getting the NBA players union to push back the selection of its next executive director until July, sources said, out of concern about how the field of candidates were winnowed to the current two finalists, litigation attorney Michele Roberts and David White, executive director of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Player representatives were recently provided videos of and informational packets about Roberts and White and asked if they were ready to move forward. It has been more than a year since the players dismissed their previous executive director, Billy Hunter, for a variety of questionable business practices uncovered by an audit. The request of the player reps prompted approximately 20 players to send signed letters to union president Chris Paul stating they were not ready to vote. Some, but not all of the players, are team union representatives, a player union source said. "A lot of different reasons were given," the source said. "They were signed by the players but you could tell they were written by their agents. When we reached out to see what was going on, the players weren't as strong about their feelings as the letters were." Bleacher Report
The union gathered on Saturday for its annual winter meeting to handle the fairly important business of presenting the two finalists for the job of replacing the ousted Billy Hunter. Other than members of the executive committee, who pretty much had to be there, only about 30 players showed up. There are more than 400 players in the NBA, and surely at least 100 or so have been in town for various All-Star activities. CBSSports.com
Screen Actors Guild executive director David White has emerged as the frontrunner to replace the disgraced Billy Hunter as the National Basketball Players Association's executive director, league sources told Yahoo Sports. There had been debate within the NBPA's executive committee about whether there will be a vote taken on Saturday at a Players Association meeting on a new executive director, but sources briefed on Saturday's meeting agenda told Yahoo Sports that no vote is scheduled to be taken. Yahoo! Sports
With a key hearing approaching in Billy Hunter's lawsuit against the National Basketball Players Association, the union has hired one of the defendants in the civil case: Derek Fisher's former business manager, Jamie Wior, three people familiar with the situation told CBSSports.com. Wior and Fisher, the former union president, are co-defendants in a lawsuit that Hunter filed against the NBPA for wrongful termination. The lawsuit, which has been moved from Oakland, Calif., to Los Angeles, crosses the next legal hurdle this week with a hearing in LA Superior Court on the defendants' motion to dismiss. CBSSports.com
Wior played a behind-the-scenes role in the 2011 lockout while serving as Fisher's Los Angeles-based publicist and business manager. A chasm developed between Fisher and Hunter, resulting in Fisher drawing attention to what he believed were improper business practices during Hunter's tenure. Hunter was unanimously voted out as the union's executive director in February 2013 on the heels of a damning report by a New York law firm. The report highlighted Hunter's acts of nepotism and accused him of improper business dealings and putting his own interests ahead of the union's. In May, Hunter sued the NBPA, Fisher and Wior for breach of contract and defamation. He is seeking at least $10.5 million in salary and benefits he was owed at the time of his ouster. Among other things, Hunter, 71, alleged that Wior conspired with Fisher to oust him as director and "vest control of the union." CBSSports.com
Less than a year after Hunter filed his lawsuit, Wior has been retained on a temporary basis to assist with the NBPA's winter meeting during All-Star weekend in New Orleans next month. While her involvement in union business is nothing new, the NBPA's decision to retain her again is a sign that Fisher's influence in union matters has outlasted his term as NBPA president and executive committee member. Fisher was replaced as president by Chris Paul in August 2013. CBSSports.com
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